Every Monday, during the most splendid season, a bounty of farm fresh goodies neatly packed in an old wooden basket awaits on my neighbor’s covered front porch. I walk under the scent of the blooming magnolias, past the turquoise table, and cross the street to fetch my CSA basket. I’ve lost track of how many years I’ve been a member of Tecolote Farm, Texas’ longest running CSA.
I almost skipped out this year. I missed the sign up last winter, avoiding emails and eschewing most of life’s irrelevancies during Sarah’s recovery. Gratefully, Katie made room for me at no less than the last second before the first baskets of the season arrived. A blessing on so many levels, my internal clock registers the beginning of summer by the colors and tastes in the freshly harvested delivery of spicy arugula, spring onions, pungent garlic, and my favorite of all—beets. Well, that and the fact my house is full of not-so-little Littles who are very, very needy during the longer summer days.
Beets get a bad rap. If you are turning up your nose, thinking you’d rather pass on tasting roasted beets, please promise me you’ll try just once. Pretty please? When I teach cooking classes one of my favorite delights is to see friends taste a freshly roasted bite of beets drizzled with olive oil, fresh herbs, and a dollop of goat cheese. I call it the Beet Epiphany. The oh-my-stars-what-took-me-so-long-to-believe moment.
Pick up a bunch of beets, three or four will be just fine, at your local Farmer’s Market or grocery store. Try it. And, let me know if we can add you to the growing list of beet lovers!
How to Roast Beets
Wash and scrub beets. Trim both ends. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, thinly slice beets. Arrange in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Roast at 450 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes, watching closely so the beets don’t burn.
Wash and scrub beets. Trim both ends. Line a large piece of foil with a large piece of parchment paper. Place the whole beets on the parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Fold up the parchment on all sides to make a little packet. Fold up the foil around the parchment and seal completely. Place the foil packet directly on the center rack in a 375 degree oven and cook for 1 hour. Remove beets from oven, unpack, and when they are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off each beet. Careful – your fingers will turn bright pink! Slice beets, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with a little fresh rosemary or basil and top with a dollop of goat cheese.
The beets will store in a glass container in the fridge for up to a week. Toss them in salads, omelets, or blend in smoothies. Or try my favorite dish featuring roasted beets
Tell me. . . are you a beet lover? Or not so much.